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The Gresham Police Department reported 10 shootings in January, continuing an uptick in violence first seen in 2020.

FILE PHOTO - Gresham Police gang unit Officer Jim Petersen takes a gang member into custody after patrolling hot spots in East Portland in 2013.The beginning of 2021 has continued a troubling trend in Gresham — shooting numbers are rising across the community as police spokesmen highlight an uptick that began last year.

Throughout the month of January, 2021, Gresham police responded to 10 shootings, four of which involved injuries with a total of eight people being shot. Seven of those incidents occurred within the first 13 days of the new year — which Gresham Police said was "an unusually high number."

The violence followed the increase from last year, with a peak in December of 10 shootings, one of which was a homicide.

The shooting death to cap 2020 occurred in the 1300 block of Northeast 192nd Avenue, where Gresham officers found 19-year-old Portland resident Safia Greenwood dead at the scene. That investigation is ongoing, with no suspects or leads at this time.

While anecdotally officers have spoken of the jump in shootings, their takes are backed by statistics. Numbers provided by the Gresham Police Department show a large increase from 2019 to 2020.

All of the shootings listed include any investigations where evidence was located — casings, victims, and property damage. They do not include the many "shots heard" calls fielded by Gresham police that do not result in a subsequent case.

In 2019, there were 33 shootings with nine involving injuries within Gresham city limits. In 2020, there were 54 shootings with 15 involving injuries.

So far 2021 is on trend to surpass 2020's numbers. The department was able to share data through Feb. 4 — with one shooting occurring at the beginning of the month.

Just before 2 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1, Gresham officers were called to the Village Court Apartments at the corner of Northeast Oregon Street and 181st Avenue. They learned an unknown suspect fired into an apartment, injuring a man inside. His injuries were allegedly non-life-threatening.

The jump isn't isolated to East Multnomah County. Reports out of Portland show more than double the shootings last year when compared to 2019. Spokesmen with the Portland Police Bureau told KOIN 6 News that, "they know we are busy, so people are more emboldened to carry firearms and use them against each other."

Gresham Police did not hazard a reason for the increased shootings.


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